Postcard Theology 1

August 27, 2015 2:58 pm

Postcard Theology 1 Even Atheists have a ‘supreme good’ or ‘chief end’, even if their greatest joy is liberating Christians from our superstitions. They hunger for this. People are hungry souls: we want to get our teeth stuck into something true and satisfying. Robots aren’t hungry, but we are. Jesus said man’s supreme end was to ‘know God’ and he called this relationship ‘eternal life’ (John 17:3). In other words, we were made for God and only in relationship with him – because ‘knowing’ is a relationship word and not just an information word – will we find the true... Read this post

The Notes We Sing & the Seeds of Truth

July 12, 2015 12:39 am

Music plays a starring role in our lives, and that’s especially true here in ‘Greater Nashville’. For many, music is near to their heart, an echo from heaven that reminds them that whatever home we have here we have one more permanent and lovely that awaits. For those who know music in this way Simone Weil’s words ring true: “Everything beautiful has a mark of eternity.” For others, ‘music’ is all about work. Its an industry, and like all such endeavors has its positive and negative aspects. Hunter Thompson famously observed, “The music business is a cruel and shallow money... Read this post

Quotes about Freedom from Thomas Jefferson to Bob Marley

July 5, 2015 12:32 pm

Some of my favorite quotations about liberty and freedom for your reflection on the Fourth: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” –Ronald Reagan “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” –George Washington “Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.”... Read this post

Racism, the PCA, and Charleston: a Pastoral Letter to Christ Community Church

June 24, 2015 5:16 pm

Brothers and Sisters With you I am deeply grieved and angered about the terrible events which unfolded last week in Charleston, South Carolina. Our brothers and sisters have been slaughtered in the name of racial hatred; the Church of Jesus has been attacked; and our common society has been wounded. I am also astonished by and so thankful for the clear witness to God’s grace that the Emmanuel AME members have given our world with their words of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. They have offered this testimony in the face of horrid brutality and hatred. It is a the heart... Read this post

Undying Love in the Crosshairs of Hate

June 21, 2015 9:06 pm

With Father’s Day as a theme I’d prepared some altogether appropriate paragraphs for this space today, warm words about family, bonds of affection, and the joy of home. Then Charleston happened. Few people are thinking of much else, and virtually no one is speaking of much else, especially in the national media, and that’s as it should be, even if a lot of what’s said isn’t very helpful. There are nine beautiful, wonderful people who are dead now, killed by a young man deluded by racial hatred and a culture of violence, a bitter youth who acted against innocent people... Read this post

Extended Sermon Notes – Finders, Seekers: June 21, 2015

June 21, 2015 8:26 pm

The Short Stories of Jesus Finders, Seekers; Sellers, Keepers Matthew 13:44-46 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost June 21, 2015 What ‘Kingdom’ means in Jesus’ teaching CAN mean a ‘place’, but more than anything it means ‘Governance’, especially experience of that Governance. It is the presence of the future. The Kingdom has both come and is still coming. We live in the tension of the now and not yet. We live not with a postponed hope but a present reality that is growing from seed to tree, and from pebble to mountain. I. The Surprised Finder – v.44 * Burying treasures In... Read this post

Expanded Sermon Notes – June 7, 2015

June 9, 2015 2:42 am

Re-Membering the Church The Grace of Governance in the Body of Christ Matthew 8:5-13; Ephesians 5:15-21 Second Sunday after Pentecost June 7, 2015 Quick Review Why we care about the Church; the Contrary Winds The Covenant People of God, the City of God, Mother of the Faithful, and the Body of Christ Last year GQ magazine interview with Matthew McConaughey, the Oscar-winning actor, and this is what he said: Does your family go to church every Sunday? Yeah. In Texas. It’s non-denominational. It’s based in the faith that Jesus is the son of God, that he died for our sins,... Read this post

The Wisdom of the Horse

June 6, 2015 3:26 pm

Early most every morning I pour my coffee and wander out on the back patio to enjoy not only the cool morning air and taste of that first cup, but also the sights and sounds of one of the greatest shows a person can experience: horses rising to meet the day. Chestnut, black and grey, dappled and ivory white, Paints, Quarters, Saddlebreds, and Thoroughbreds gallop through open pastures, roll on the ground, sing and shout good mornings to one another, snort at owners for attention – especially some breakfast – and playfully nip at each other to make sure the... Read this post

Quotes About the Church, Part One

June 1, 2015 8:48 pm

Here are some of my favorite quotations about the beauty, necessity, and community of the Church. “Whatever it means to be a Christian, it at least involves the discovery of friends you did not know you had.” ― Stanley Hauerwas, Hannah’s Child: A Theologian’s Memoir “We believe that many Christians do not fully appreciate the odd way in which the church, when it is most faithful, goes about its business. We want to claim the church’s “oddness” as essential to its faithfulness.” ― Stanley Hauerwas, Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony “The Church is a whore, but she is... Read this post

Re-Membering the Church, Part Five

May 31, 2015 4:38 pm

Re-Membering the Church Bearing One Another’s Burdens Mark 2:1-12; Galatians 6:1-10 First Sunday after Pentecost May 31, 2015 Vows and Covenant – a brief word of background Vow 5: Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the church, and promise to study its purity and peace? One of the matters we’re drawing attention to is the difference between aggregation and congregation. The former is a group of people gathered together briefly for a shared experience but with no particular connection, commitment, or governance that continues afterward. The latter is a highly visible, deeply committed community of reconciled... Read this post